The interview excerpt below is the first from an in-depth series we conducted with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), a trade organization representing some of the world's most innovative companies. Here, Sean Parker, Director of Digital Media Marketing at CEA, shares his thoughts on the importance of choosing the right video technologies to make his team faster, so they have more time to focus on strategy and content creation.
What is CEA?
CEA is the Consumer Electronics Association. We produce the International CES each January in Las Vegas. We have public policy initiatives on Capitol Hill representing the consumer technology industry. And we do market research, helping companies understand what’s happening in the consumer electronics marketplace.
Who does CEA represent?
CEA has about 2200 members across the spectrum. About 80% of them are small businesses, 20% of them are startups, but we also have the big names like Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, or Apple -- names that you would commonly associate with consumer electronics.
But CEA is not just device manufacturers. That may surprise some people.
Some people think of CEA as representing just devices or hardware -- TVs, radios, that sort of thing -- and we do have a lot of screens around. But we also represent a lot of the software companies that go on that hardware -- companies like Snapchat or Yelp that consumers use every day.
With a membership so diverse, what do the members have in common?
One of the things that is common across the whole membership is innovation and the fact that we have companies that bring thoughts and ideas to life in an incredibly imaginative way. You’re seeing things that will change the world, ultimately, when on display at the International CES. They’re making deals. They’re networking, and they’re around, and we represent all of that.
What does your team in particular do for CEA?
I’m the Director of Digital Media Marketing here at CEA. We encompass content on the web, social media, apps and more for both CEA and the International CES.
Do you produce a lot of video? Give me a sense of how much your team is working with video?
During CES we certainly produce a lot of video. We work with different teams on getting our keynotes posted, our conference sessions posted, as well as some behind the scene stuff, and socially oriented videos. We’re always looking for that content, and we’re always looking to expand how we use video content. We also use video throughout the year.
Would it be fair to say that video is an increasingly important part of your content strategy?
Video is actually becoming a more important part of our strategic plans because it tells a story that can’t be told in other ways. It’s really easy to tell a story with video. Sometimes, you don’t want to sit there and look at long form, written content. Sometimes it’s hard to understand an infographic. But if somebody is sitting there and telling you a story -- about how they were injured by a patent troll, or how their next great product is coming and how it’s going to change the world -- and you can see that passion and excitement for them. That’s probably the best way to tell a story.
Would you say that your video technology is strategically important to your team?
I would say it is strategically important to my team. We want to do more and more video, and I think using things like uStudio, where we can actually catalogue and keep track of the stuff, and then create players on our own really helps us. For example, for CES, we created a wall of video that once you click in you’re then taken to the single video or related videos on the side. Our views during CES nearly doubled, because we used this sort of thing. This is what we want to do more of. I think uStudio will play a part in that.
Because you represent so many innovative companies, would you say that it’s incumbent upon CEA to also be as innovative as your members?
Yes, I think we do have to be as innovative as our members. Those guys are pushing it. We have to push it just as hard. We have to look at what they’re doing, what their standards are, and then set the standards for ourselves even higher than that, so that we’re becoming a leader in that space.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
When we look at our brand, we don’t actually compare ourselves to other associations or other trade shows. We actually look at our members. Like when we were redoing our International CES site, we looked at sites like Apple, we looked at Microsoft, we looked at Sony. We were like, “Okay. What are they doing?” They’re getting a huge amount of traffic. What are they doing right? We look at those and set that as our benchmark. We’re saying, “These are the companies. This is the standard that they set. We should be in front of that. We should be leading those people, and setting the standard for our industry.”
How would you describe uStudio?
I think uStudio is incredibly innovative. I think the way they approach video, rather than approaching it from a player-first standpoint, and actually looking at it from an organizational standpoint, I think that any company should be looking for that solution.
What about uStudio do you find innovative?
With uStudio, it’s super flexible video. We don’t have to worry about coding different solutions. It’s really - you build one, and it is going to work across all platforms. We have it from desktop to mobile and everything in between. We don’t even have to really worry about coding. It’s just, here’s the player, and it works everywhere. It’s that easy to use. I can upload, select the destination, and have it ready to deploy in minutes rather in hours.
How did your adoption of uStudio change the way your team was working with video?
I think my team has a great respect for uStudio. The ease of use and the speed of getting videos up is incredibly powerful. Now, it’s like, “Yeah. I uploaded that to uStudio. It’s already on YouTube,” or, “It’s already on the website,” or, “It’s already here,” or “It’s there,” or wherever it need to be. It’s given us back time to concentrate on creating content rather than worrying about how we’re going to send it out to the world. Now, we get to actually make it. It opens up a lot of options for us to be able to create content and to think about video in a different way.
Has having more time to focus on being creative impacted your ability to deliver results?
When we go from 145,000 views to more than 270,000 views in a year, we’re looking at a platform that has to be able to perform, has to be able to deliver to these companies. I think uStudio gave us that option. It gave us a lot of different options to send out video. It was one of the reasons we had so many new views. Because the traffic didn’t go up incredibly. It did go up, but it didn’t go up like almost double as the video views did.
If a friend or a colleague were to ask you should they switch to uStudio what would you say?
If somebody asked me will I recommend uStudio, or if they were looking to switch, I would definitely tell them to switch. The time savings, the ease of use, the flexibility, it works. If somebody came up to me and said, “Hey. We’re using this solution or this solution. What do you guys using? What do you recommend,” I would definitely say “uStudio.”